I’ve seen Aida mentioned before but never got round to actually using it. I’ve fired it up this afternoon and it produces an excellent report of your computer setup. If you’ve used Sandra’s Sisoft utilities then you’ll be familiar with this. The major advantage is Aida is free.

WinVNC to more than one computer

Win2VNC is an excellent utility that brings in other monitors to your desktop. Normal vnc brings the desktop of your remote machine into a window on your local desktop. Win2VNC keeps the monitor on the remote machine and sends your mouse and keyboard to the other screen. So you get more screen real estate and still only need one mouse and keyboard. Thanks to Chris for mentioning the unix version of this

Providing admin tools to users without passwords.

Found a very useful way of providing users the ability to run administrative tasks without providing passwords to the users. By using the runas command you can launch programs with different credentials, however you need to enter a password. If you provide the user with the password then they could use it to do a lot of other things. Providing a user with a batch file helps, but it doesn’t take much brainpower to read the batch file and obtain the password. However, thanks to techtarget they suggest the use of Microsoft Script Encoder. This takes an existing vbs batch file and encodes the output. Although not pgp strength encryption it would be strong enough to deter the casual browser of your hard disk/batch files. (the only downside is providing a new file when the password to the account changes.)
Incidentally I’ve had to investigate this as one of our users can not admin our iis server settings despite being listed on the operators tab.

Scripting Telnet Sessions

I was needing a utility for scripting telnet that would enable me to login into my router, run some commands and then exit. This utility does the job very well and I now have a batch routine that logs into the router every 30 minutes, gets some stats and then takes various actions depending on those stats. WorldsEnd has a lot more internet utilities too. Incidentally the Telnet Scripting Tool was written by Albert Yale but his homepage no longer exists as he was using a dynamic dns service that was shut down a few years ago.

Resource Kit downloads

A useful page to download Download Free Windows 2000 Resource Kit Tools. Not sure on the legality of hosting these tools individually but it is a bit daft when you can download them all in one big lump (if you have a big fat internet pipe) which incidentally is similar to the stupid excuses Microsoft is giving as to why Magazines are unable to load patches on their coverdisks which is a good reason why there are so many pc’s out there that are not patched and uptodate with critical updates.